The family of 4-year-old Michael Trimble says his school is enforcing a discriminatory dress code against him and other Black students.
Randi Woodley, Trimble’s grandmother, said she became aware there was a problem with how she styled her grandson’s hair in August at a ‘Meet the Teacher’ meeting.
Woodley says during the meeting, the school’s principal told her that her grandson’s hair was too long. She then met with the superintendent where she was presented with three options, she said in an interview with the Longview News-Journal.
“He told me that I could either cut it, braid it and pin it up, or put my grandson in a dress and send him to school, and when prompted my grandson must say he’s a girl,” Woodley said, according to the newspaper.
District policy says, “Student’s hair shall be clean and
Parent Kambry Cox has a kindergartner with dreadlocks in the district and says she wants her son to not be judged based on how his hair looks.
“You don’t have to change to fit anyone’s stereotypes or you don’t have to be anyone that you don’t want to be individually,” Cox told CBS 19.
A group of parents and others angered by the school district’s dress code went to a Monday school board meeting to voice their concerns, CBS19 reported. Video from the meeting shows people holding signs that read “is my hair distracting you?” and “why is my hair different from hers?”
A Change.org petition was also created, asking those who were interested in signing to “tell Tatum, Texas we will not be bullied into cutting his hair.” As of Friday afternoon, the petition has more than 4,000 signatures with the goal being 5,000.